Fear of a roasting keeps MPs away from barbecue

MPs and special advisers were conspicuously sparse at Connect Public Affair’s barbecue party last week - the first post-lobbygate agency bash - which was held right under the nose of the Labour party, in Millbank Tower Gardens.

MPs and special advisers were conspicuously sparse at Connect

Public Affair’s barbecue party last week - the first post-lobbygate

agency bash - which was held right under the nose of the Labour party,

in Millbank Tower Gardens.



The shuttle bus specially laid on by the agency to ferry politicians to

and from the House of Commons was spotted at 7.15pm - prime party-going

time - dropping a single passenger off outside Millbank.



Still, Connect can always claim they faced strong competition that

evening from four other political parties: the New Statesman’s summer

do, Shandwick’s corporate shindig at the London Aquarium, civil service

union First Division Association’s bash and a party held at Downing

Street for ministers - perhaps a secret ploy to keep them out of

trouble.



Connect did manage one star appearance, though: the deputy prime

minister John Prescott, who Connect managing director Gill Morris tells

me danced the night away with her to the tune of a live jazz band.

Morris said cheekily: ’Of course I danced with him - he’s my mate!’ She

added that: ’We didn’t expect to get lots of MPs. We knew they wouldn’t

come because they’d been told not to.’



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